February 20, 2024

Vergara, Skims meet again in Sands Point

Jose Ortiz celebrates as Pizza Bianca gets up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

Vergara and Skims, the top two finishers in the Sept. 5 Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs, will renew their rivalry in Saturday’s $200,000 Sands Point (G2) at Aqueduct. A total of 10 three-year-old fillies, including a main-track only runner, are entered for the 1 1/8-mile turf affair.

A juvenile stakes winner, Vergara finished a close second in the Ontario Cotillion (G3) at Woodbine prior to recording a frontrunning triumph in the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Ground Oaks. The Graham Motion-trained daughter of Noble Mission will cut back in trip and retain the services of Joel Rosario.

Multiple Grade 2-placed Skims missed by only a head last time, and the Frankel filly is eligible to keep moving forward in this spot for Shug McGaughey. John Velazquez picks up the mount aboard the stalker.

Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Pizza Bianca, unraced since an eighth in the Coronation (G1) at Royal Ascot in mid-June, merits serious respect for Christophe Clement. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock recorded a convincing win in Hilltop S. at Pimlico two back, and Pizza Bianca will look to offer a formidable late kick with Jose Ortiz.

Chad Brown will send out stakes winner Eminent Victor, a nose second in the Lake George (G2) two back. The late-running filly is a rebound candidate following a troubled trip in the Lake Placid (G2), and Manny Franco takes the assignment.

Virginia Oaks heroine Spirit and Glory and last-out allowance winners Hail To and Lady Baffled are also part of the main body of the field.